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Arizona reports 1,157 new coronavirus cases, 16 more deaths

FILE - In this April 16, 2020 file photo, registered medical assistant Elaine Lomax handles a nasal swab specimen after it was collected at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson File)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Tuesday, Oct. 27.

PHOENIX – Arizona health authorities reported 1,157 new coronavirus cases and 16 additional deaths on Tuesday morning.

That put the state’s documented totals at 240,122 COVID-19 infections and 5,891 fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic have dropped dramatically from summertime peaks, but cases and hospitalizations have been trending upward this month. Deaths, however, have not seen a similar rise.

The number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients rose overnight to 861 on Monday. That was 46.9% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 586, and the most since Aug. 26.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds increased to 187, 49.6% higher than Oct. 1, when it was 125, and the second most since Sept. 10.

The hospitalizations remain far under the pandemic highs of 3,517 inpatients and 970 ICU patients, both recorded July 13.

Arizona’s weekly percent positivity for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, an indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, has reached its highest level in more than two months.

For the 83,480 tests recorded last week, the positivity rate was 6%, the highest since it was 8% for the week starting Aug. 2.

As of Tuesday’s report, the positive rate was 9% for the 1,167 tests recorded this week.

The rate had been as high as 20% at the end of June.

Weekly rates are based on when the samples are taken, not when they are reported, so the percentage for recent weeks can fluctuate as labs get caught up on testing and the results are documented by the state.

The rolling seven-day average for the state health department’s newly reported cases was at 1,009.57 for Monday, according to tracking by The Associated Press, the highest since Aug. 13 and more than double the figure of 480 from Oct. 1.

The seven-day average of newly reported deaths, however, is under half of what it was at the start of the month. It was 6.43 on Monday and has been below 12 each day since Oct. 5. It was 16.43 on Oct. 1.

The seven-day averages remain well below their peaks of 3,844 cases on July 6 and 94 fatalities on July 30.

The Arizona health department’s daily reports present case, death and testing data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

The hospitalization data posted each morning is reported the previous evening by the hospitals.

As cases skyrocketed in June, local governments in many parts of Arizona — including all of Maricopa County — implemented face mask requirements, and Gov. Doug Ducey issued statewide executive orders to close certain businesses and restrict restaurant occupancy.

The spread of COVID-19 slowed after those steps were taken. All of Arizona’s counties have since hit benchmarks established by the health department that allow closed businesses to reopen under capacity restrictions and other regulations.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms — which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.


Below are Tuesday’s latest developments about the coronavirus pandemic from around the state, country and world:

  • The Navajo Nation reported 24 new coronavirus cases and one recent death, bringing the documented totals to 11,386 infections and 575 fatalities.
  • Arizona top public health official released a video Tuesday warning residents to remain vigilant as coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise.
  • Banner Health announced Tuesday it is reopening select respiratory cohort units as a precaution as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona.
  • Eli Lilly continues to back a potential COVID-19 treatment despite research showing that it may not work on hospitalized patients.
  • Globally, there were more than 43.62 million COVID-19 cases and 1.16 million deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The figures for the U.S. were around 8.7 million cases and 225,000 deaths.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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